Iledia Samson, the Nigerian stand-up comedian, aka Igos, has said living in the house of veteran comedian, Atunyota Akpobome, popularly called Ali Baba, shaped his career.
Igos, who studied Computer Engineering at the University of Benin, Edo State, said comedy was an inherent talent different from what one studied in school, adding that while studying as an undergraduate, he also participated in comedy shows.
He said, “Living in Ali Baba’s house was quite an experience. I learnt how to be a professional comedian from him. It is one thing to be gifted and it is another thing to develop one’s gift. One of the things I learnt from him is that one does not have to be insulting to be funny.”
Narrating his experience since he got married, Igos said he never missed being single, adding that being married was a whole different ball game.
“It is just like you asking if I don’t miss my elementary and secondary school days. There are times those thoughts (of being single) come but one cannot dwell on them. One can overcome those thoughts when one is in a happy marriage. I am happy being married and I cannot ask for more,” he said.
The funnyman, who started his career in church, said he delved into secular comedy because of the business in the profession and to take his brand to the next level to get endorsements.
He said, “I won’t say what prompted my move away from the church. I still do comedy in churches but the church is one of the channels that made me know I could live a fulfilled life as a comedian. The same material I deliver at secular events can also be used in churches. I don’t practice vulgar humour.
“My parents supported my decision to be a comedian. That was one of the reasons they allowed me to move into Ali Baba’s house. I had been attending shows even when there were no mobile phones. My parents allowed me then. If they did not give me the enabling environment, I probably would not be where I am today.”